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Medical and Research Library News - August 2022

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Training opportunities
Websites and reports on trending topics
Journal articles of note                      

August 2022

Training opportunities

Note: The following webinars and online classes are not affiliated with DSHS or the DSHS Library. They are presented here as opportunities to learn more information of interest to public health personnel. All times listed are in Central Daylight Time.

August 16, 2022; 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Tiny Influencers With Outsized Impacts: Unraveling How Microbiomes Modulate Our Health. The idea that we need to rid our environment of all bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms is now wholly outdated. Our understanding of the deep interactions between the various microbiomes that live on and in our bodies has grown increasingly sophisticated as researchers have untangled these complex relationships. They continue to shed light on the many integrated pathways through which these microbes modulate and manipulate our immune system, our metabolism, and even our emotions. Join this webinar from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to learn about how our microbiota communicate with and even control internal signaling pathways to impact all manner of biochemical interactions. https://www.science.org/content/webinar/tiny-influencers-outsized-impacts-unraveling-how-microbiomes-modulate-our-health

August 17, 2022; 2-3 p.m. Making the Call for MCH: Exploring the Maternal Mental Health Hotline and the 988 Crisis Lifeline. This webinar will explore the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline, the 988 Suicide Prevention Crisis Lifeline, and opportunities for public health agencies to partner to promote their success and support MCH populations' mental health and wellbeing. Presented by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lI2j9p2FTNOxmCoT58nETg

August 24, 2022; 12-1 p.m. Caring for an Aging Population. Unprecedented growth in older populations and increasing awareness of social determinants of health presents challenges and opportunities for health centers focused on providing optimal care for the patient population across the lifespan. This webinar from National Center for Equitable Care for Elders (NCECE) will focus on increasing the capacity of health centers to meet the health and social needs of older community-dwelling adults followed in primary care.  https://ece.hsdm.harvard.edu/webinar-series-caring-aging-population

August 31, 2022; 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. A Review of Emerging & Reemerging Mosquito Transmitted Diseases. From the 17th century to present day, mosquito transmitted diseases in humans and animals are well documented in the United States. An example of the impact mosquito born disease have had on the history of public health is the fact that the US Health & Human Services Office of Malaria Control in War Areas evolved to what we know today as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because many mosquito-borne pathogens cause similar clinical signs, diagnostics can be challenging. The presence & abundance of competent vectors with adequate climate for pathogens places Texans at risk for various mosquito borne diseases. This DSHS Grand Rounds webinar will review a brief history of mosquito-borne diseases, the vectors, pathogen types, clinical signs and symptoms, diagnostics, trends, prevention, surveillance, and risks of emerging pathogens. https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2845965325866257677

Websites and reports on trending topics

Health Literacy in the United States: Enhancing Assessments and Reducing Disparities - The authors of this report identify three areas that they believe should be priorities in developing policies to address health literacy in the United States and offer seven recommendations for moving forward. https://milkeninstitute.org/report/health-literacy-us-assessments-disparities

Learning Express Library – This TexShare resource offers interactive training modules. It covers topics like math and writing skills, but also includes training on computer software like the Microsoft Office programs, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop. https://texshare.net/

The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality – Nursing homes play a unique dual role in the long-term care continuum, serving as a place where people receive needed health care and a place they call home. Ineffective responses to the complex challenges of nursing home care have resulted in a system that often fails to ensure the well-being and safety of nursing home residents. This book from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies seven broad goals and supporting recommendations which provide the overarching framework for a comprehensive approach to improving the quality of care in nursing homes. https://nap.nationalacademies.org/catalog/26526/the-national-imperative-to-improve-nursing-home-quality-honoring-our

Journal articles of note

Conrad AR, Tubach S, Cantu V, et al. Listeria monocytogenes illness and deaths associated with ongoing contamination of a multi-regional brand of ice cream products, United States, 2010-2015 [published online ahead of print, 2022 Jul 7]. Clin Infect Dis. 2022. doi:10.1093/cid/ciac550
Background: Frozen foods have rarely been linked to Listeria monocytogenes illness. We describe an outbreak investigation prompted both by hospital clustering of illnesses and product testing.
Methods: We identified outbreak-associated listeriosis cases using whole-genome sequencing (WGS), product testing results, and epidemiologic linkage to cases in the same Kansas hospital. We reviewed hospital medical and dietary records, product invoices, and molecular subtyping results. Federal and state officials tested product and environmental samples for L. monocytogenes.
Results: Kansas officials were investigating five cases of listeriosis at a single hospital when, simultaneously, unrelated sampling for a study in South Carolina identified L. monocytogenes in Company A ice cream products made in Texas. Isolates from four patients and Company A products were closely related by WGS, and the four patients with known exposures had consumed milkshakes made with Company A ice cream while hospitalized. Further testing identified L. monocytogenes in ice cream produced in a second Company A production facility in Oklahoma; these isolates were closely related by WGS to those from five patients in three other states. These ten illnesses, involving three deaths, occurred from 2010 through 2015. Company A ultimately recalled all products.
Conclusion: In this U.S. outbreak of listeriosis linked to a widely distributed brand of ice cream, WGS and product sampling helped link cases spanning five years to two production facilities, indicating longstanding contamination. Comprehensive sanitation controls and environmental and product testing for L. monocytogenes, with regulatory oversight, should be implemented for ice cream production.

Dawson P, Salzer JS, Schrodt CA, et al. Epidemiologic investigation of two welder's anthrax cases caused by Bacillus cereus group bacteria: occupational link established by environmental detection. Pathogens. 2022;11(8):825. Published 2022 Jul 23. doi:10.3390/pathogens11080825
Bacillus cereus group bacteria containing the anthrax toxin genes can cause fatal anthrax pneumonia in welders. Two welder's anthrax cases identified in 2020 were investigated to determine the source of each patient's exposure. Environmental sampling was performed at locations where each patient had recent exposure to soil and dust. Samples were tested for the anthrax toxin genes by real-time PCR, and culture was performed on positive samples to identify whether any environmental isolates matched the patient's clinical isolate. A total of 185 environmental samples were collected in investigation A for patient A and 108 samples in investigation B for patient B. All samples from investigation B were real-time PCR-negative, but 14 (8%) samples from investigation A were positive, including 10 from patient A's worksite and 4 from his work-related clothing and gear. An isolate genetically matching the one recovered from patient A was successfully cultured from a worksite soil sample. All welder's anthrax cases should be investigated to determine the source of exposure, which may be linked to their worksite. Welding and metalworking employers should consider conducting a workplace hazard assessment and implementing controls to reduce the risk of occupationally associated illnesses including welder's anthrax.

Hall CM, Romero-Alvarez D, Martz M, et al. Low risk of acquiring melioidosis from the environment in the continental United States. PLoS One. 2022;17(7):e0270997. Published 2022 Jul 29. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0270997
Melioidosis is an underreported human disease of tropical and sub-tropical regions caused by the saprophyte Burkholderia pseudomallei. Although most global melioidosis cases are reported from tropical regions in Southeast Asia and northern Australia, there are multiple occurrences from sub-tropical regions, including the United States (U.S.). Most melioidosis cases reported from the continental U.S. are the result of acquiring the disease during travel to endemic regions or from contaminated imported materials. Only two human melioidosis cases from the continental U.S. have likely acquired B. pseudomallei directly from local environments and these cases lived only ~7 km from each other in rural Texas. In this study, we assessed the risk of acquiring melioidosis from the environment within the continental U.S. by surveying for B. pseudomallei in the environment in Texas where these two human melioidosis cases likely acquired their infections. We sampled the environment near the homes of the two cases and at additional sampling locations in surrounding counties in Texas that were selected based on ecological niche modeling. B. pseudomallei was not detected at the residences of these two cases or in the surrounding region. These negative data are important to demonstrate that B. pseudomallei is rare in the environment in the U.S. even at locations where locally acquired human cases likely have occurred, documenting the low risk of acquiring B. pseudomallei infection from the environment in the continental U.S.

Richard MA, Patel J, Benjamin RH, et al. Prevalence and clustering of congenital heart defects among boys with hypospadias. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(7):e2224152. 
Importance: Hypospadias is a common birth defect of the male urinary tract that may be isolated or may co-occur with other structural malformations, including congenital heart defects (CHDs). The risk for co-occurring CHDs among boys with hypospadias remains unknown, which limits screening and genetic testing strategies.
Objective: To characterize the risk of major CHDs among boys born with hypospadias.
Design, setting, and participants: This retrospective cohort study used data from population-based birth defect surveillance programs on all male infants born in 11 US states from January 1, 1995, to December 31, 2014. Statistical analysis was performed from September 2, 2020, to March 25, 2022.
Exposure: Hypospadias.
Main outcomes and measures: Demographic and diagnostic data were obtained from 2 active state-based birth defect surveillance programs for primary analyses, the Texas Birth Defects Registry and the Arkansas Reproductive Health Monitoring System, with validation among 9 additional states in the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN). Birth defect diagnoses were identified using the British Pediatric Association coding for hypospadias (exposure) and major CHDs (primary outcomes). Maternal covariates and birth year were also abstracted from the vital records. Poisson regression was used to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios and 95% CIs for major CHDs within Texas and Arkansas and combined using inverse variance-weighted meta-analysis. Findings were validated using the NBDPN.
Results: Among 3.7 million pregnancies in Texas and Arkansas, 1485 boys had hypospadias and a co-occurring CHD. Boys with hypospadias were 5.8 times (95% CI, 5.5-6.1) more likely to have a co-occurring CHD compared with boys without hypospadias. Associations were observed for every specific CHD analyzed among boys with hypospadias, occurred outside of chromosomal anomalies, and were validated in the NBDPN. An estimated 7.024% (95% CI, 7.020%-7.028%) of boys with hypospadias in Texas and 5.503% (95% CI, 5.495%-5.511%) of boys with hypospadias in Arkansas have a co-occurring CHD. In addition, hypospadias severity and maternal race and ethnicity were independently associated with the likelihood for hypospadias to co-occur with a CHD; boys in Texas with third-degree (ie, more severe) hypospadias were 2.7 times (95% CI, 2.2-3.4) more likely than boys with first-degree hypospadias to have a co-occurring CHD, with consistent estimates in Arkansas (odds ratio, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.4-5.3), and boys with hypospadias born to Hispanic mothers in Texas were 1.5 times (95% CI, 1.3-1.8) more likely to have a co-occurring CHD than boys with hypospadias born to non-Hispanic White mothers.
Conclusions and relevance: In this cohort study, boys with hypospadias had a higher prevalence of CHDs than boys without hypospadias. These findings support the need for consideration of additional CHD screening programs for boys born with hypospadias.

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Last updated August 11, 2022